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Flashcards in The Road to the Great War Deck (26)
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Who was Louis Pasteur?

Louis Pasteur was a French scientist in the late 19th century. Pasteur discovered that many diseases were caused by germs, whose danger could be offset by the application of heat and sterilization methods. Pasteur's work saved millions of lives, and Europe's death rates plummeted.


What scientist advocated for the use of carbolic acid to sterilize surgical instruments?

Joseph Lister argued that surgical instruments should be sterilized using carbolic acid. Although slow to be adopted in the United States, Lister's arguments were more popular in Europe and led to a sharp decrease in post-surgical death.


What concept did British biologist Charles Darwin propose in his On the Origin of Species, published in 1859?

Darwin proposed the concept of biological evolution. Under Darwin's theories, each animal and plant species was engaged in a desperate "struggle for existence" and only the fittest species survive the struggle.

Those species that are the fittest emerge from a process of natural selection, wherein advantageous mutations allow the species to thrive more than other species.


What economic argument did English sociologist Herbert Spencer derive from Darwin's evolutionary arguments?

Spencer contended that individuals, companies, and nations were governed by the same rules as biological natural selection; for instance, strong companies thrive while weak companies go bankrupt.

Spencer's theory, known as Social Darwinism, was used by many advocates to argue that the white race was superior to other races, and that European nations were better suited than native inhabitants to govern far-flung empires.



Impressionism was a form of painting that emerged in Paris in the 1860s and 1870s. Impressionists such as Renoir and Monet focused on the effect of light upon everyday subject matter. Many Impressionist painters focused on temporary fleeting moments; a woman reading or workers pausing from harvesting hay.


What artist's paintings include Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers (1888) and The Starry Night (1889)? 

Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh

Virtually unknown in his lifetime, van Gogh is now recognized as a master of the Post-Impressionists.

As an artistic movement, Post-Impressionism is ill-defined, but generally speaking Post-Impressionists employed the Impressionists' use of color and light, but employed more sharply defined geometric shapes.


What is Fauvism?

Fauvism was an artistic movement that gained prominence in France for a few years during the early 1900s. Fauvists such as Henri Matisse emphasized vibrant colors which were sometimes unrealistic, and placed less emphasis on accurate description and minute detail in their paintings. As an example of Fauvism, art historians typically cite Matisse's Les toits de Collioure.


Which artist is recognized as Cubism's founding father?

Pablo Picasso is recognized as Cubism's founding father, and was the first artist to systematically break down objects and reassemble them in an abstract geometric formula.

Cubism as an artistic movement flourished in France in the 1910s and 1920s, and along with Impressionism and Fauvism represents the birth of Modern Art. Marcel Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase is the quintessential example of Cubist art.


What was Expressionism?

Expressionism developed in Germany in the years before World War One, and sought to portray and evoke emotion by distorting the representation of the physical world. The most commonly cited example of Expressionist art is Edvard Munch's The Scream.


What is meant by the term "Angel in the House"?

The term "Angel in the House" was used to describe the idealized role of women in British middle-class society during the Victorian era.

With few of the labor-saving devices available today, running a household in the 19th century was a full-time job, and middle-class women were expected to oversee the household management, oversee the servants, and provide a refuge for their husbands from the world's cares.


How many European countries allowed women to vote in 1900?

None, but in the early decades of the 20th century, especially in Western Europe, those who advocated for female suffrage saw modest gains, and women were allowed to exercise their right to vote for the first time.

The "suffragettes," as they were known in Great Britain, were highly organized and were led by women of the middle class.


What is the Bessemer Process?

The Bessemer Process was an inexpensive method for making steel from iron. Since the Industrial Revolution began later in America and Germany than in the United Kingdom, American and German firms did not have to convert their foundries and mills from older iron methods to steel production, but could equip their factories at the outset with the newest methods.

By the 1880s, both American and German manufacturing output in steel and other industries was rapidly approaching that of Great Britain.


Germany's Industrial Revolution began later than Britain's, but made rapid strides in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. What industrial areas proved particularly fruitful for the Germans?

Since Germany's Industrial Revolution began later, German factories were outfitted with the latest technology, and German firms rapidly began to dominate fields such as steel-making and chemical production.

Germans such as Rudolf Diesel also developed industrial technology. Diesel's internal combustion engine would power German submarines and lead to the development of the automobile.


What was the Dreyfus Affair?

The Dreyfus Affair was a political scandal in France in the late 19th century and early 20th century. 

In the late 19th century, Albert Dreyfus was the only Jew on the French General Staff, and was falsely accused of being a German spy. The allegations against Dreyfus were motivated primarily by the virulent anti-Semitism endemic to the French military.

When information arose clearing Dreyfus and implicating another member of the Staff, it was suppressed. Finally the efforts of a dedicated band of Dreyfus's supporters, led by Emile Zola, helped to clear him.


How did the lack of a two-party system inhibit the French government in the years between 1871 and 1914?

France's political scene after 1871 was dominated by smaller political parties, none of which could gain a majority in the French legislature. As a result, France's Prime Ministers had to form their cabinets from coalitions, made up of members from a number of national parties, and Prime Ministers frequently resigned and called for new elections.

Although some social welfare legislation was passed, for the most part the French government became increasingly tumultuous. As an example, French politician Aristide Briand served as Prime Minister 11 different times in terms ranging from years to months.


What two men vied for political power in Great Britain between the 1860s and 1880s?

The two titans of British politics in the period were the Liberal Party's William Gladstone and the Tory Party's Benjamin Disraeli.

Gladstone was a stern, taciturn man who increasingly turned his considerable skill to resolving the Irish Question. Disraeli, a favorite of Queen Victoria, was colorful and popular.

In part to gain votes for their parties, both men championed measures popular with the working class, such as worker housing and pro-union measures.


After Emperor Tewodros II of _____ imprisoned several British missionaries in 1868, how did the British government respond? 


Tewodros's actions impinged upon British honor, and the British government sent an expeditionary force on a punitive mission to Ethiopia. After a difficult march the British army approached the Ethiopian capital, Tewodros committed suicide, and the British army turned around and departed.


How did the problem of Ireland bedevil British politicians in between 1890-1914?

Ireland's Catholic population as a whole heavily outnumbered the Protestant population concentrated in Ireland's north around Ulster, and resented Irish Protestants as interlopers.

Irish Catholics resented the Protestant British government, and advocated for self-government in the form of  "Home Rule." The prospect of Home Rule concerned Irish Protestants, for they would be heavily outnumbered in any resulting Irish governing body. The Irish Question dominated British politics, until it faded momentarily at the outbreak of World War One.


Between 1880-1881, and 1898-1902, the British fought in the First and Second Boer Wars in Africa. How did these wars differ from previous campaigns on the African continent?

The Boer Wars were against Dutch settlers in South Africa, known as the Boers who had established their own countries, The Orange Free State and the Transvaal Republic.

Of particular concern to both sides was the fate of the large gold deposits in the region. The war dragged on for three years, and to halt the activities of Boer guerrillas, the British government herded Boer women and children into concentration camps where thousands died.

A peace treaty incorporating the Boer Republics into Britain's South African colony was signed in 1902.


What was the effect of the Japanese victories in the Russo-Japanese War?

In 1905, the Japanese roundly defeated the Russians on both land and sea. In Russia itself, the defeats signaled the weaknesses of Tsar Nicholas II's regime, and encouraged the hopes of those who sought to throw off the Tsar's yoke.

Throughout the rest of Europe there was grudging admiration and disbelief that an Asian army had defeated a European one.


What was Bloody Sunday?

On Sunday, January 9, 1905, demonstrators peaceably assembled near the Tsar's Winter Palace in St. Petersburg to present the Tsar with a list of grievances. Tsarist troops opened fire on the crowd, killing 96.

In response, a wave of protests and looting broke out, and a general strike was declared by the city's unions. Bloody Sunday marked the start of the 1905 Russian Revolution, and revolts quickly spread to the peasantry.


How did Tsar Nicholas II react to the outbreak of the 1905 Russian Revolution?

Tsar Nicholas II agreed to convene a representative legislature (known as the Duma), granted civil liberties such as freedom of the press, speech, and assembly, and declared that he would reorganize the government.

In the wake of the Tsar's promises the Revolution abated. In the years following the Revolution, the Tsar did convene the Duma, but basically ignored it. Most his other promises were rescinded within a few years.


Who were the Octoberists?

In the wake of Russia's 1905 Revolution, the Octoberists were those who were satisfied with the limited advisory role which Tsar Nicholas II had allowed to the Duma. Staunch traditionalists like the Octoberists favored a strong monarchy. 


The Kadets made up a sizable portion of Russia's Duma in 1906. What form of government did the Kadets advocate?

The Kadets supported the idea of a constitutional monarchy. They demanded more rights for the Duma than those provided by Tsar Nicholas II in 1905, but did not want to abolish the monarchy entirely.


What two groups made up Russia's Social Democrat Party?

The Social Democrat Party was comprised of the Mensheviks, who favored more gradual social reform, and the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, who favored a revolution spearheaded by professional revolutionaries.

The Social Democrats as a whole were Marxist. After the Tsar began cracking down on social unrest beginning in 1907 many of the Social Democrats were exiled, including Lenin.


Who was Russia's Socialist Revolutionary Party?

The Socialist Revolutionary Party ("SRP") was a radical Russian political party active in the early part of the 20th century.

The SRP advocated the redistribution of land, and sought to gain more rights for Russian peasants by inducing fear in the Russian government, most notably through political assassinations of government officials. The SRP was active in both the 1905 Revolution and the 1917 Revolution.